Episode Review – Slash Fiction (and Writing Talk)

Quote of the Night: “Dead plants with creamy goo.  It’s like eating self righteousness.”

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Not a lot to talk about this episode (lore discussion and drinking game tally below), instead, it has inspired me to briefly discuss a writing topic I’ve had rattling around in my head.

When writing, it’s always important to keep your characters rational.  However, I’ve noticed lately on some message boards etc, a confusion among some fans and viewers mistaking being rational for being perfectly logical.  What do I mean?  Well look at this episode.

The Leviathan are hunting the Winchesters.  We know that they have at least one goal (there are more, but currently we, the audience, don’t know): Kill the boys.  They have hit upon a clever idea: Disguise 2 of them as the Winchesters, commit lots of crimes, flush the Winchesters out and then kill them.

On paper, if the Leviathan are perfectly logical, then they would let the boys get captured, then rig the trial so they are convicted (shouldn’t be too hard) and then get them executed by the lawful authorities (if not just indefinitely incarcerated).  That the Leviathan make an attack when the boys are arrested, seemingly overplaying their hand would – at first – appear to be an irrational action.

Except it’s not.  While it might be a little illogical, it’s nonetheless a rational move.  Here is where the writer(s) and the audience must keep a perspective in mind relative to the involved characters.

  • The plan – The Leviathan seem to be up to something beyond general mayhem.  As a writer, one should make sure that the plan that is not yet revealed is one that will later add sense into these actions in retrospect. As an audience, we should keep in mind that the plan we don’t know about might be influencing a lot of these choices.
  • Leviathan manpower – How many do they have available?  Somewhat related to the above, but every Leviathan spared to work on executing the Winchesters is one less that can’t then assist with the grand plan/end goal.  The longer the effort is drawn out (and a trial/execution will take a LONG time in America – no amount of infiltration will fix that), the less the Leviathan can utilize the missing manpower.  Thus, it is rational for them to speed up the killing process than go for the more “logical” option.
  • Outside agents – We’re not sure how much the Leviathan know, but from what we know about their age, it’s likely they have some awareness of God, Death and other powers.  The longer killing the Winchesters take, the more time and opportunity is provided for those other powers to interfere.  Again, quite rational to try and limit salvation options for the boys.
  • And finally, what authors and audiences must never forget: rationality does not exclude emotions.  Many actions can be rational once emotions are taken into account.  While the Leviathan might enjoy seeing the Winchesters slowly killed by the bureaucracy of the state, the pleasure of killing them personally would be a greater reward.  As writers or audience, we must always keep in mind that people will often rationalize based upon their strongest emotion.  (See also: the scene in this episode when one Leviathan can’t help it and starts snacking on a person)

It’s a difficult plot line to walk: especially as authors have to keep in mind that characters never know everything the author does (or at least, no character should – that’s a big Mary Sue sign).  And when watching/judging a show, sometimes we need to keep in mind that the characters don’t know everything the audience does.

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So how was the lore of this episode?  Not bad.  It definitely seems like Eve/Echidna/Mother is the first Leviathan, as these are demonstrating a few traits that she and her children have.  Though part of me wonders that if these things can access the thoughts of who they take over, why couldn’t they just look in the Winchesters’ minds and see where they were hiding out with Bobby?  I didn’t mind that much the Sheriff accidentally finding out what can hurt the Leviathan – because we know this show has God (were even reminded of it two episodes ago) and the subtle alignment of factors for this reveal also seems very in style for SPN’s deity.  Though I am disappointed we didn’t even get a line or glimpse of the guys making an effort to spread the knowledge about hurting these things to other hunters – or are that few remaining?

And now the tally for a shot taken every time something was done in a previous episode. (the realization of the link topast cases will not be counted)  Those who can name the original episode first can pass their drink on to another. (drink icon shamelessly stolen from das mervin)

  1. Hard ass but ultimately cool law enforcement officer ends up believing and aiding the Winchesters (as well as covering for them with a death claim). \~/
  2. Said law enforcement ally dies at end of episode.  \~/
  3. Cute girl dies with law enforcement ally.  \~/
  4. Brothers have a fight and split. \~/
  5. Sam gets angry with Dean and takes off on his own down the road.  \~/
  6. Creature impersonates Dean Winchester. \~/
  7. Said creature ends up dead & law enforcement picks up its body.  \~/
  8. The Winchesters shove people into a bank vault.  \~/
  9. Person interrogates creature strapped to a chair.  The creature looks and talks like the interrogator.  \~/
  10. Interrogator ends up beheading the restrained creature.  \~/

10 drinks?  Hope your livers survive.  Also, there’s a pending drink on whether the license plate of the Impala get changed after difficulties with law enforcement.  Tune in next week…

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